BSkyB Commissions Fire Crew Drama 'The Smoke' for Sky 1 HD

BSkyB Satellite - Sign - 2010
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The series is one of a slew of fresh shows signed as part of the company's $940 million-plus commitment to British content.

LONDON – U.K. satcaster BSkyB's Sky 1 HD channel is hoping to set alight its 2013 schedule with The Smoke, a drama revolving around the day-to-day lives of a London fire station crew.

The show is written and created by Lucy Kirkwood (Skins) and will be produced by Kudos Film and TV for the pubcaster with production penciled in for early next year.

The show, commissioned by Sky's head of drama Anne Mensah, is part of the satcaster's statement commitment to bolster investment in original British content by 50 percent over the next three years.

By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million ($940.2 million) a year in British programs across its portfolio of channels.

Sky also revealed a slew of fresh comedy and drama commissions for Sky 1 HD as it detailed the channel's fall schedule Friday.

Mensah's other headline grabbing drama commission is Moonfleet, a two-part family drama adaptation of John Meade Falkner's classic story written for the small screen by Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes).

And Sky's head of comedy Lucy Lumsden is hoping to conjure up the channel's laughs with Chris O’Dowd’s Moone Boy, the first series of which launches this autumn, and has already been greenlit for a second season.

Set in a small town in Ireland in 1989 it follows the antics of the youngest member of the Moone family, 11-year-old Martin Moone (David Rawle).  Martin's unique perspective on life aided by an imaginary friend, Sean Murphy (O'Dowd).

The show is co-written by O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy and directed by Declan Lowney (Little Britain) and produced by Ted Dowd (Gavin & Stacey).

Sky director entertainment channels Stuart Murphy said: "The pay TV world is a great place to be and the stability that comes with 10 million customers gives us the freedom to take creative risks that allows Sky 1 HD to stand out from the pack. "